The Clarence is situated in the heart of London – minutes
from Trafalgar Square and close to the Houses of Parliament. It is also
suggested that due to its closeness to Number 10 it was a favourite local of
Winston Churchill. Whether you believe this or not, it’s clear that The
Clarence is certainly steeped in history and, fresh from renovation, it’s
certainly a nice place to spend an hour or two after work.
The Tin Belly Room, situated on the first floor, has a huge
skylight that runs the length of the ceiling, meaning you don’t miss out on the
natural light of summer when dining inside.
Start with Severn and Wye smoked salmon with red onions,
capers, and sour cream for a tasty, light starter. The salmon wasn’t overly
smoked, and there was just the right amount of the salty capers to go alongside
it. Or, the garlic buttered wild mushrooms with a poached egg on toast which
went down a treat.
The 21-day aged sirloin steak with a tarragon and mustard
sauce, watercress salad and fries didn’t disappoint. The ultimate test for any
establishment is how they cook steak and, with me preferring a blue steak that
has barely touched the pan, and my friend liking her steak to be rare, they had
a real challenge on their hands. However, I’m happy to say you could genuinely
tell the difference between the two, with both cooked to absolute perfection.
The tarragon and mustard sauce was deliciously thick and velvety, coating the
steak and chips perfectly.
The meal was incredibly filling, so all we could manage for
dessert was a shared bowl of fruit sorbets. But, even these didn’t fail to
disappoint, with the mango sorbet almost stealing the show.
All in all, a tasty meal in a great, traditional pub
setting. The Tin Belly Room also offers a carvery trolley – 28-day aged British
sirloin beef ‘on the bone’ with all the trimmings, served Wednesday – Sunday
which, is definitely on my list to try when I return.